Shinty Memories Golf Championship: An outstanding success

Skye Originals emerged as winners of a hugely competitive and very social Shinty Memories Scotland Golf Championship held at Kingussie Golf Club on Sunday. Their team was John Finlayson, Willie Cowie and the father and son combination Ryan and Rob MacAskill.

The event, which was sponsored for the first time by Birchwood Financial Planning of Elgin, a Partner Practice of St. James’s Place, raised a significant four-figure sum which will be used to assist the work of Shinty Memories Scotland throughout the shinty-playing community.

Played on the immaculate Badenoch course on a perfect day, the second annual championship attracted 17 entries in the four-ball competition from all over the shinty community from Aberdeen to Argyll, Wester Ross and Skye. Players included Scotland Senior golf team member and notable shinty player John Fraser, as well as many other players, some still current and others less so.

The ladies’ honour was upheld by Kingussie Jan Grant who, along with son Ross, the legendary “Gunner” from Kingussie GC and Hugh Dan MacLennan, emerged in third place as Shinty Memories Portugal. This was in no measure due to a stunning final put from Jan on the 18th green in front of an appreciative audience which incldued special guest for the day Shinty Memories ambassador Donnie Grant, her husband.

Kincraig’s team of Al MacLeod, Michael Clark, Russell Dallas and Craig Dawson, who provided the inside track information being Head Greenkeeper, were second.

Speaking on behalf of the winners, John Finlayson said:  “It was great to see so many shinty players and people connected to the game attend the Shinty Memories Golf Day and of course it was nice to be part of the winning Skye Team who in all honesty, played better than we could  have expected. The great condition of the course, the fantastic food available at Kingussie Golf Club and of course the good weather, the banter and the craic all made for a very special day. However, what was most important was again raising the profile of The Shinty Memories Scotland Group and the great work they do to support families and friends living with Alzheimers and other mental health issues such as loneliness isolation. I would like to thank the group for not just for the actual event but also for the ongoing work they do. We all know of families who are touched in some way by various mental health issues and days like yesterday are all part of the support that is needed to help those affected.”

John MacKenzie MBE, Shinty Memories Ambassador, presented sponsor Andrew Storey of Birchwood with a presentation caman donated by Roddie MacLennan of Aird Artysans who also produced a special caman for auction made from Culloden timber.  Mr MacKenzie said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming to the event and above all everyone who donated all the prizes which enabled us to raise a significant contribution towards our efforts which are ongoing.  Our first-time sponsor Andrew Storey of Birchwood is also due significant thanks for his contribution. I strongly suspect that we will be back in Badenoch in a year’s time and the success of this year’s competition in all sorts of ways has set a very high benchmark.   IT was some day and quite an outcome.”